Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Massey, Charles Ian (1939 - 2008)

MRCS and FRCS 1969; BSc Durham 1960; MB BS 1963; LRCP 1969; FRCS Edin 1969.

31 May 1939
Birmingham, UK
24 April 2008
General surgeon and Vascular surgeon


Ian Massey was a consultant general and vascular surgeon at the Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, Lincolnshire. Born in Birmingham on 31 May 1939, Ian was the son of Charles William Massey, a master baker and managing director of a large bakery in Lancashire, and Ellen née Astley. He had one brother, Alastair Paul, who was a solicitor in Manchester. Ian attended Oldham Hulme Grammar School, from which he entered Durham University to read physics, but transferred to medicine. He was elected president of the students' union and qualified in 1963, having also achieved a first class honours degree in physiology. During these early years his rapport with the university chaplain, the Reverend Jack Bennett, helped to increase his strong commitment to a Christian faith, and he was confirmed into the Church of England. After his marriage, he worshipped at the local Baptist church.

He was a house surgeon in Newcastle in general surgery to S W Feggetter and a house physician to George Smart, with whom he gained an insight into endocrine and renal medicine. He became a senior house officer in the renal unit with David Kerr, when visits to patients in the early hours of the morning became a habit that never deserted him, even as a consultant. After a year as an anatomy demonstrator, he passed the primary FRCS and then became a senior house officer to the Birmingham Accident Hospital. He spent six months at Great Ormond Street and, after passing the FRCS in England and Edinburgh, became a registrar at the Westminster Hospital under Harold Ellis. Further higher surgical training followed in the Trent region. In Leicester he gained experience in general and vascular surgery and urology with George Sawyer, Kenneth Wood, Peter Bell and Gordon Smart. He was a senior registrar in Derby and Nottingham under J Hardcastle and B Hopkinson, G Makin and C A S Pegg. In 1978, he was appointed as a general surgeon with a special interest in vascular surgery at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, Lincolnshire.

In 1979, Ian married Jillian Archer, a consultant anaesthetist whom he had met in Leicester. They had a family of three children. Elizabeth, born in 1980, is a teacher, Caroline lectures in English at Boston College and the youngest, David, runs a landscape gardening business. Family life was of the utmost importance to Ian, as he was to the family. Ian was enthusiastic about all he did, and had abounding energy and endurance. He had many hobbies and interests. He flew light aircraft and helicopters and belonged to various flying societies. He was a keen photographer, interested in computers and all things electronic. He loved music and in later life began piano lessons.

He and his family were very involved with the local branch of Cancer Relief, later MacMillan Cancer Support, of which he was a committee member and vice chairman for many years. He was a trustee for St Barnabas Hospice and the Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service. He was a regular contributor to the Magdala Debating Society in Nottingham. He was actively involved in Boston Baptist Church, a dedicated member of Gideons International, and a governor at the Pilgrim Hospital and Skegness Grammar schools.

Ian Massey developed prostatic cancer in 2000, but faced his illness with determination and great courage. He was uncomplaining and maintained a cheerful, positive attitude. He took part in a 50-mile cycle ride around Lincolnshire, in spite of spinal metastases. He underwent rigorous treatment involving surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy in an attempt to halt the progress of the disease, but died on 24 April 2008. He was survived by Jill, his three children and two grandchildren, Phoebe and Olivia. A well-attended memorial service was held at St Botolph's Church, where Brian Hopkinson and Geoffrey Greatrex gave moving eulogies.

N Alan Green

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from Jillian Massey, Ian Hutton, Geoffrey Greatrex and Robert Wilkinson].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England